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So it ISN'T gallstones, what the HECK is IT?? (warning: I'm grumpy)

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  • So it ISN'T gallstones, what the HECK is IT?? (warning: I'm grumpy)

    Arrrgghhh I'm SO frustrated! I had an ultrasound today on my liver/abdomen to check for gallstones - nothin! Ok, normally that would be good news - and I AM glad that I don't have a gallstones (at least now). But now the cause of my abdominal symptoms still remains a mystery. God, it seems like it's just one thing after another. Last year with the chronic yeast and vulvodynia, this year with the IC nightmare, and now this horrible intense pain right below my sternum after I eat sometimes. I suppose it isn't the biggest bother because it only happens a few times a month, but it's disruptive to the point where I fear eating at times. I'm still getting it checked out - obviously still need to rule out some other nasty possibilities. I know I'm being a bit of a whiner - things could be so much worse. And I try to remind myself that it isn't that things are all necessarily happening at once, but that because I'm seeing a doctor at least once a month, I'm getting things checked into that I might normally wait.

    But still, I'm gettin' sick of all the copayments. That, and my health insurance has started dicking me over with their prescription med coverage. A-holes.

  • #2
    Have they checked you for ulcers?

    ONE Second, ONE Bite, ONE Breath, ONE Pill, ONE Minute, ONE Teardrop, ONE Hour, ONE Sip.. ONE DAY! I will Prevail from this disease! IC Hoping for a Cure!

    Link to Patient Handbook:

    Diet Reference Sheet:

    Meds For IC: Lyrica-25mg Glucosamine-500 MSM-500mg, Prosed Ds -When Flaring

    Other Meds: Levlite- Continious Birtcontrol, Micardis-40mg for High Blood Pressure

    Meds I have Tried:
    Topamax,Tofranil, Elmiron, Atarax, Cymbalta, Elavil, Enablex, Detral La, Prydium.
    Lexapro< Bad reaction to this med!
    Intstills, could not continue them due to some kind of reaction after 3rd instill. Tasted the lidocaine in my mouth, tongue and lips went numb then went into what seemed like a panic attack. Shaking, racing heart, tingling face/head, blood pressure shot up..

    Dx With IC in Nov 2006 with Hydro/Cysto
    Hydro/Cysto Caused Bladder to Rupture.

    Other Dxs-Vulvodynia,Fibro, Endo, IBS, HPV, Migraines, Spastic Colon, Mild Dysplasia.

    ICN Volunteers are not medical authorities nor do we offer medical advice. In all cases, we strongly encourage you to discuss your medical treatment with your personal medical care provider. Only they can, and should, give medical recommendations to you.


    • #3
      Hope you get to feeling better! It's so frustrating when you do test after test and...nothing. Sometimes any diagnoisis would be better than none and having to keep dealing with the pain without any reason.
      I take Maxalt to for my migraines too, don't you just love it? It makes mine go away within 15mins w/out the sleepyness of the others. I also take Elmiron. It took about 4mos but then it really started helping, also I take Elavil with it for the depression and anxiety that IC causes me. It helps so much, and also helps with the flares and pain.


      • #4
        I'm sorry that you didn't find an answer to your pain.


        • #5
          I had an ultrasound done too and it show no gallstones at that time. But down the road it got severe enough that they have to take the gallbladder out. It might be something else, I know it is aggravating, but it still can be your gallbladder.

          My friend also was having abdominal pain, which feels like a heart attack, and it was her gallbladder.

          I am so sorry this is so aggravating of not knowing but I hope soon you will know.

          Sending hugs, Trishann


          • #6
            M y moms got like that and it was her gallbladder. I'm glad you don't have gallstones though. I know what you mean about insurance.


            • #7
              Sorry you are going through so much pain. It really sux!
              Are you seeing a Gastro- Intestinal specialist? IF so, maybe you should have an Endoscopy to have your esophgus and stomach checked for acid reflux/GERD issues.....since it's after you eat. Eons ago when I first started having GERD issues my stomach only hurt a few times after eating......not all the time. I hope you get this problem figured out....for us IC'ers its just one problem after another and it does get VERY expensive! Good luck! Roxie

              Double Spinal Cord Stimulator surgery 8/09
              Unsuccessful MiniArc sling surgery 12/07
              Dx'd Hypothyroid
              Dx'd Chronic Axonal Neuropathy & Myopathy
              June 2007
              Dx'd IC May 2006 (after suffering for 25+ yrs!)
              First Cysto 1979
              First Hydro 1981 (Many treatments since then!)
              Collagin"Durasphere" injections for urethra
              Gall bladder surgery Aug. 2004
              Gastric Bypass Dec. 2004
              Dx'd: Barrett's Esphogus July 2004
              Dx'd: Vaginal Atrophy 2005
              Bladder surgery 2000
              Dx'd: IBS 2000
              Hysterectomy (fibroids) 1999
              Laminectomy 1989
              Dx'd: Degerative Disk Disorder 1989

              For IC I use Elmiron, Elavil and Freeze dried Aloe Vera (it works likes Elmiron, but naturally)and Azo as needed. I also take Zegerid, Randitine for Barrett's Esophagus. (which causes me to have constant yeast infections!)I take Cymbalta for Neuopathy/Myopathy pain. I use the Climara patch for menopause symptoms. I'm on a very strict diet because of the IC, IBS and Gastric Bypass. I take Primal Defense Probiotics and whole food Iron.
              I no longer have the awful urethral pain! I've been using MSM gel now for 4 mo. and haven't had a flare up or the urethra's amazing stuff!!:woohoo:


              • #8
                It could be the spincter of oddi spasms. Those are painful and feel like a gallbladder attack almost. They usually prescribe an antichloragenic to help with this.
                I have a dysmotility issue of the upper digestive tract and I know first hand how miserable it can make you feel. I would definitely see a gastroenterologist if things continue. Hope you feel better soon.


                • #9
                  Emily, are you able to remember what it was you ate at the time that set you off? I've a friend who just had his gall bladder removed a few months ago, and he had the biggest problems eating fats. A former coworker who was close to our age had hers removed too, and her shellfish allergy was related somehow.


                  • #10
                    I had my gallbladder removed in july 06. I did not have stones either, but the they did a function test and it was only working at 5%. I had trouble with fatty food also. Bacon really hurt.
                    Meds on now:

                    dextro 10mg

                    5000mg Vitamin D- when tested, I was sooo low.
                    Compound Hormones- Had hysterectomy when 24, ovaries out 37

                    At night:

                    4mg Zanaflex- Fibro & PFD
                    plendil- Raynalds

                    I have Fibro, IC, IBS, PFD, Raynauds.


                    Past Meds
                    Lexpro- changed to Cymbalta for better pain relief –off both
                    Ultram – three times a day. Helped , I was tired of always being so tired.
                    Elmiron-took for a year-
                    Topamax-Did not need anymore since on dextro.
                    Atarax- did not need anymore

                    Pictures: Hubby & Me, Ozzy, My three Sons!!
                    What a proud Mother I am!!



                    • #11
                      If I'm remembering correctly, it happened both times after I ate pad thai (before IC-diagnosis), one time after I ate bibimbab, at least 3 times after I ate pizza, another time after eating some greasy chinese, and a couple times after eating pasta (i think with sage butter sauce) and dessert. There are other times where I can't remember what it was that I ate. I love going out for sushi because it never happens after that. It also almost always happens after dinner, and especially if I haven't eaten much else during the day or it's been several hours before I've had anything to eat. Sometimes I have gas and diarrhea afterwords, but not until several hours or even a day later.


                      • #12
                        My gallbladder story

                        It had started a few years before my first test. Just a severe pain that started in my back around my right side to the middle of my stomach. It would last 2-3 hours, which I would spend laying down and rolling around in pain. I know when it started because it was the day my dad died in January of 1983. I just put up with it for years until it got too bad to ignore it. It happened 2 times the first year then every year it would happen a little more often than the year before. About 1993 I finally went in to the doctor and he set up some test and prescribed vicoden for the pain. I thought they were miracle pills. It was the first time I could get the pain to go away.

                        I had the gallbladder tests about 12-13 years ago. I had the sonagram and I had a nuke test where they put nuke dye in and then watch it go through your gallbladder. It didn't go through right away so the guy who did the test had me leave and come back in 2 hours. That should have been his first clue that it was a problem. They told me it wasn't my gallbladder. Luckily my doctors through all of this time gave me vicodin so that when I had an attack I could stem the pain.

                        I again had a sonagram in 1996 after I move to Portland and they found nothing either. When I changed jobs I started going to my current primary doctor, he thought maybe it was a muscle problem or something since I had been tested. He did prescribe vicoden 15 at a time and they lasted 2-3 months, I horded them because I wanted to make sure I had them when I had an attack, especially since they were getting worse and more often.

                        I continued to have pain happening more frequently until about 4-5 years ago when the pain became constant. They ran the nuke test and the others again and this time the guy doing the test realized right away that my gallbladder was dead, not working at all, which is why the dye wouldn't go through it properly, and I finally got to have it removed, I am know that the first guy who tested me all those years ago should have realized that when the dye didn't go through right away, there was a big problem DUH!. About the same time my gallbladder pain became constant I had 2 utis or so we thought. After the gallbladder removal I thought I had another uti but when treatment didn't work my doctor advised I may have IC, thank goodness he knew right away what it was and referred me out to a uro. I had probably had it for months but the vicoden I took for my gallbladder pain masked my bladder pain. Once I quit taking the vicoden for my gallbladder my bladder pain was still there.

                        Keep an eye on it, if they can't find any other problem, because you don't need to have gallstones to have pain. I never had one gallstone.

                        I hope it is just a minor problem and it can be taken care of easily, but if it continues and they can't find any other problem have them check it again.

                        Symptoms since '86 starting with frequency(told I had a small bladder)
                        Diagnosed with medium IC in 2004 when pain started

                        For IC Elavil 50 mg - Atarax 50 mg - Fentanyl 25 Patch replaced every 72 hrs

                        For HBP Norvasc 5mg -Diovan 320 mg

                        For Depression Wellbutrin XL 300mg

                        Sinus Problems Flonase 2x daily-Alegera D when needed

                        And Now Fibromyalgia

                        Have Tried Elmiron (made me sick and hair loss)
                        DMSO and Heparin instills no help
                        All and every urgency pill
                        Trileptal, Neurontin, Tramdol did nothing
                        Cymbalta which made me dizzy and flushed
                        Lyrica gave me night terrors each night a different family member died very vivid now I know how they got the name night terrors